Dog Attacks Five-Year-Old Disabled Boy Eating Sandwich in Park

One little boy's spring picnic in the park took a turn for the worst on Thursday.

Yesterday, a five-year-old Scottish boy named Robin was allegedly attacked by a dog as he ate a sandwich in a park. The boy, who has unspecified intellectual disabilities, was not severely injured but was "left very distressed" by his brush with danger, his mother, Rachel Plummer, who was with him at the time, told The Edinburgh Evening News. Local police are investigating the incident.

"I screamed at the top of my lungs when I saw it go for him. He's only a little boy, very small for his age and slow to respond due to his disabilities, and the dog was easily as big as him," she said.

Mother and son were taking an afternoon stroll in Colinton Dell, a wooded area of Edinburgh that is a popular destination for picnickers and dog walkers alike when they were set upon by a pack of seven or more dogs.

The dogs, who were apparently attracted by the smell of the boy's sandwich, appear to have been off-leash pets rather than strays. Many, Plummer said, were not even wearing collars. One tried to snatch the sandwich from the boy's hand, but he resisted. That's when things took a turn for the worse.

Robin "didn't let it go at first, he doesn't understand, and so the dog went for him, knocking him down and biting at his arm and shoulder," Plummer said. In the process, Robin sustained bruises on his legs and scrapes on his back.

snarling German shepherd
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Once Plummer and a companion had wrestled the dog off Robin, they attempted to confront the dog owners, who had been too far away to witness the attack. However, Plummer said, they refused to provide their names and "ran off" after scolding her for following them.

At least one of the owners even implied the attack was Plummer's fault by saying, "You shouldn't have been having a picnic in a dog walking area."

Upon returning home, Plummer filed a police report. A spokesperson for the police department told The Edinburgh Evening News that "[e]nquiries to establish the full circumstances are at an early stage."

On average, 4.5 million dog bites occur in the United States every year, nearly one in five of which subsequently become infected. In 2019, DogsBite.org recorded 48 dog bite-related fatalities. Most of those bites were inflicted by pit bulls, a breed known for their tenacity and strength. Between 2005 and 2019, dogs killed 521 people nationally.